The other day I walked into Kaleb’s room and found his beloved stuffed Barney upside down in the corner, a place and position where it has probably resided without notice by him for some time now.
I was suddenly overcome with a sense of loss. And it wasn’t that I felt sorry for the Barney doll. Or even that I was saddened because Kaleb wasn’t so much interested in Barney anymore.
I suppose seeing that Barney doll thrown over in the corner made me feel a little wistful, a little melancholy, maybe a little sorry for myself. After all, that little boy that never went anywhere without Barney has now abandoned him. He’s outgrown him!
Yes, it’s a sad day when you realize your little boy won’t stay little forever. And, you kind of wish that somehow he could…at least for all of your life!
And then I thought of the lyrics from Puff, the Magic Dragon, that woebegone folk song about a little boy who outgrows his imaginary world inhabited by a great dragon. The song describes that time in life when your imagination is your reality, when best friends are stuffed toys and security comes from a special soft blanket.
I just can’t help it. That which is so wonderful to him is despairing to me. Kaleb’s childhood is fading and he’s growing up.
Each day, each week, each month, each year he leaves a little bit of childhood behind as he approaches adulthood. Then one day his childhood will be just a dim memory to him.
But, his childhood will always be unforgettable memories to me!
Stay young, stay innocent, little man. And be the man who is the sweet little boy I adore!